Eco-Artist Turns Cigarette Butts into Hollywood Fashion
Eccentric performing artist who goes by the name “Trashy-B” displays a striking outfit consisting of over one thousand cigarette butts that were once littered across Hollywood Boulevard’s famous stars.
It’s a fashion statement unlike any other. While many tourists were searching for famous names along the star-studded sidewalks of Hollywood, eco-artist Trashy-B couldn’t help but notice something else littered across those stars–cigarette butts. “I’ve always been aware of the health & environmental risks of cigarettes” said Trashy-B, “but after seeing countless numbers of them scattered along one of the world’s most photographed boulevards, I knew I had to create something out of them–and send a message at the same time.” With that motive in mind, he came up with the idea of collecting all the cigarette butts along the famed Blvd. and turning them into a garment that would get people’s attention. After gathering every nasty cigarette butt he could find, Trashy-B had amassed an impressive, if disturbing collection of over one thousand of them. He then cleaned & glued them together until they were transformed into a fitted and rather stylish vest. The outfit was topped off with two cigarette boxes cleverly formed into a bow tie. With hundreds of cigarette butts pieced together to form an iconic Hollywood star, the controversial vest clearly delivered a unique message raising awareness of the impact cigarette butts have on our landscape and in our waters.
Contrary to popular belief, cigarette butts are not biodegradable. They are made of a plastic based material that can take over a year to decompose. Trashy-B’s inspiration came from his gradual realization that cigarette butts are one of the most littered items found along the coast. “What’s even more alarming” he says, “A huge proportion of the cigarette butts we see on the street end up in storm drains, and eventually wind up in our waterways & oceans. I’ve witnessed it first hand at coastal cleanups. The greatest amount of ocean debris collected at these cleanups always seems to be cigarette butts.”
One of Trashy-B’s artistic goals is to make more people aware of the fatal health risks to marine animals & seabirds that too often mistake the discarded butts for food. “The filters are loaded with toxic chemicals.” Many of these chemicals, such as Acenapthene, have been proven by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency to be used as pesticides. “These lethal chemicals get trapped in the filter when inhaled by the smoker, but leach into the water once they’ve washed up in our waterways.” quoted Trashy-B. His unique fashion statement started the kind of conversations he believes are essential in combating an environmental hazard people don’t fully comprehend.
Trashy-B is convinced his message came across loud and clear. Spectators along Hollywood Boulevard clamored for a photo with the eccentric eco-artist. One witness who had just tossed his cigarette on the ground commented “you know, at first I didn’t realize what he was wearing, and then I could see it was all cigarette butts–I’ve never seen anything like it. I am definitely going to think twice about where I toss my cigarette butts.”
Trashy-B has a definite fixation on bringing urgency to the more thoughtful and efficient disposal of trash–in this case cigarette butts. Regarding his current obsession with cigarette butts he says “I personally don’t have the solution to this environmental problem but if have changed people’s perception about what really happens to these toxic discards, then my crazy fashion statement will have been worth it.”
Trashy-B is a performer & visual artist who is working to change society’s perceptions about how wastefully we live. With his artistic talent for converting trash into art, Trashy-B expresses environmental messages in the most uncommon, yet engaging ways. His art is a striking metaphor for the ever growing, unhealthy relationship between the industrialized & the natural world. His thought-provoking creations are a compelling & positive force for environmental awareness. You can learn more about Trashy-B at his website, http://bwastefuless.com/ or follow him on twitter: https://twitter.com/Bwastefuless
Fact Sheet of Chemical Acenapthene from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.
Image credits: Jason Rafael.